Kansas City Royals: What to expect from Kelvin Gutierrez moving forward

The Kansas City Royals acquired Kelvin Gutierrez in a trade with the Nationals in 2018. What should the Royals expect from him?

When looking at the Kansas City Royalsfive-year plan at third base, Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report mentioned Kelvin Gutierrez as the future option at the position for them with Maikel Franco obviously being their present option.

Even with Gutierrez being the choice here, Reuter never mentioned that Gutierrez could be the starter moving forward and that’s fair. Gutierrez is turning 26 in August and to this point, hasn’t been able to keep a strong hold at the third base position in limited action.

The 25-year-old is a career .284/.347/.396 hitter over seven minor league seasons, with just 27 home runs in 2,332 plate appearances. He’s on the older end of the prospect scale now and has little left to prove in the minors, so he may settle in as a useful backup.

Maybe Gutierrez does take on more of a backup role for the Royals moving forward and never is their every day starting third baseman.

Last season saw Gutierrez appear in just 20 games where he slashed .260/.304/.356 with one home run and 11 RBI through 79 plate appearances. He spent all but two of those games at third base with the other two being as the team’s designated hitter.

There was hope for Gutierrez when the team received him in a trade with the Nationals in exchange for Kelvin Herrera. The hope was that he could provide help at third base since it looked like the organization might want to move Hunter Dozier to another position.

Dozier was initially the team’s plan at third base once Mike Moustakas was traded to Milwaukee in 2018, but right field is likely where Dozier ends up in 2020. Reuter notes in his post how once Franco’s time in Kansas City is up, Dozier could get the job back and then after that, signing a free agent might be best.

It’s a bummer that this trade hasn’t paid dividends, but it’s still early in Gutierrez’s tenure as a member of the Royals. He’s someone who could benefit from a shortened season and maybe he’ll get an opportunity to fill in at third base or at designated hitter.

As of now, however, it doesn’t look like Kelvin Gutierrez will be anything more than just a backup or bench player for the Kansas City Royals. The good news for him is that there aren’t necessarily any other great options at third base in the future (which could change obviously), so he might get more opportunities to prove his worth.